Explosive substance may have started farmhouse fire near Delia
Police believe the culprits responsible for burning an old farmhouse near Delia may have used an explosive to destroy the historic building.
On February 13, at about 6 p.m., the Delia fire department responded to a structure fire near Highway 851, approximately 6 kilometres south of the village.
The investigation has determined the fire was deliberately set and sparked from an explosion that occurred in close proximity to the building.
Owner of the land where the building is located, Shirley Friedley, says the house has long been abandoned. While it was not the original homestead, her husband Kevin’s mother had lived in the house in the 1950’s.
“It was pretty much empty,” said Shirley. “It was a landmark, so it was sad to see it go.”
She said over the years they have fielded many requests from people wanting to photograph the building.
“That’s another piece of his- tory gone.”
One of the substances that may have been used in the explosion is tannerite. This is readily available to the public and used by firearm enthusiasts to make exploding targets, and is designed to detonate when shot with a high-velocity bullet.
The explosion may have sparked an accelerant, causing the fire.
There were tracks on the property believed to be made by a pick-up truck or SUV.
The RCMP and Fire officials continue to investigate. Drumheller RCMP are seeking assistance from the public to iden- tify vehicles or people seen in that area, in addition to any person known to be in possession of, or using tannerite in the area.
Should you have any information on this or any other crime, please contact Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-2630 or Crimestoppers at 1-800222-8477.
Police indicate that a substance known as tannerite may have contributed to a fire which destroyed a historic farm house on Highway 851 near Delia last Monday.